Wedding Festival Tips

Happy weekend you lovely lot! To get you in the mood for #Cwtchfest2016, we’ve got our very own, very fabulous, Maria Farrelly, to give you a few wedding festival tips, based on what she has witnessed this summer as a busy photographer. I think you will agree, these images are crazy inspiring! I want to get married again so I can do it like this! Over to you Maria………..Anna x 

All images by Maria Farrelly

As we start gearing up for our next Cwtchfest wedding festival, We thought it would be a great idea to help you all with some ideas if you are planning an outdoor /festival style wedding.

What I love most about organising Cwtchfest is bringing together some of Wales’ most talented suppliers and giving them a platform to be as creative as they like to inspire you all. We have some great treats in stall for you all! Watch this space. In the meantime,


I’m a huge believer that a wedding should be a celebration of what you both love most. Family, friends, favourite food & drink and music to make you lose yourself in. Lets face it, dancing the night away to your favourite song, in a beautiful dress with all your favourite people around you is a pretty good feeling. And then there is all the little touches, the personal ones. The ones that your guests look at and go… “thats SO YOU’.

I’ve put together a compilation of some of the best ideas I’ve seen at weddings I’ve photographed recently. I hope it inspires you to put your own stamp on your wedding day. As styles and trends evolve, it really is a case of ‘anything goes’ and its totally ok to break with tradition! At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you get married!

festival wedding 091maria_farrelly_cardiff_wedding_ photographer071festival wedding 5

A Ceilidh (Kay-lee) band is an awesome idea to get EVERYONE up and moving! The best thing about one is that you don’t even have to be a good dancer.

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When it comes to fashion, wearing something comfortable will help you relax and enjoy the day more…

maria_farrelly_cardiff_wedding_ photographer062

…even if that does include an umbrella hat! festival wedding 2

If you love horses like Louise & Iolo do then hire a beautiful horse and carriage.

100811when it comes to entertaining your guests… space hoppers are great fun!

748 433or maybe rope dad into performing…

festival wedding 3…or the groom!

630Maybe plant a tree on your wedding day?! 
festival wedding 4and as the evening draws in, nothing beats an open fire with surrounding hay bales for all your guests to cwtch up on.


 So much loveliness Maria thank you! The band and that tree planting!? What amazing ideas and beautiful touches to what will already be, a fantastic day!

Practical Tips for Your Wedding Day

JZ0C7369It’s time for another post from our lovely modern bride Hannah. She’s back to offer some practical tips for your wedding day, because let’s face it, we all want it to go perfectly but that rarely happens! Hopefully these tips will help you take a bit of the stress off! :) (All photos are from Hannah’s wedding shot by Maria Farrelly unless otherwise noted).


Hello lovely Cwtch the Bride readers! Hope the wedding planning is coming along nicely for you all. I can’t believe it’s been a year since my own big day! Lately I’ve been thinking back to when I was in the midst of wedding chaos myself and thought I would put together a little post of tips and advice to help your own days go as smooth as can be…

Plan your photos in advance

Everyone has an idea of the type of wedding photography they would like; this may be reportage (a style I chose for my day) or maybe something more traditional with plenty of portraits. Whichever type you decide to go with, you are still going to have a list of ‘shots’ you want your photographer to capture. For me the exchanging of the rings and the confetti shots were high on my wish list. I also knew that I didn’t want to spend a big bulk of our reception having lots of staged photographs taken, so Mat and I planned with Maria in advance the shots we wanted Maria to take.

From this meeting Maria had a clear idea on the day on who and what we wanted snaps of (my adorable baby brother in his converse and lots of detail shots) and who we didn’t want hogging our wedding album, (a distant cousin’s on/off boyfriend!) If you plan your photographs in advance not only will your photographer be better organised on the day, but it also avoids any disappointment that you didn’t get a picture of someone you definitely want in your album.

Break in your wedding shoes

Oh how I cannot stress this one enough! What may feel comfortable for a few minutes trying on your wedding shoes may feel like torture an hour or two into your ceremony. I wish I had spent more time wearing my shoes in at home; my feet were in such agony after the wedding that I wore flip flops for nearly a week! And that’s before we went on our honeymoon! One thing I did remember to take (and I am so glad I did) was a pair of ballet slippers… Oh the relief! Whilst we’re on the subject of wedding shoes make sure that you take the pair you’re going to be wearing with you to your dress fittings and actually practice striding around. There’s nothing worse than tripping up over the hem of your dress.

Practice sitting in your dress

It occurred to me the weekend before my wedding that I hadn’t actually practiced sitting down in my tightly fitted fishtail gown! Crazy I know. Cue much practice sitting down and getting back up gracefully, which sounds silly but I am so glad I didn’t attempt it for the first time during the actual wedding ceremony!

 Make sure you have time in the morning to yourself and eat breakfast

I envisioned a relaxing morning getting ready surrounded by my mum and bridesmaids in our hotel. What I didn’t bank on was seemingly my whole family descending on my room to help me get ready, or pop in to say good luck. This was lovely, but I surprised myself by needing some time alone to gather my thoughts (and nerves) about the day ahead. I ended up moving rooms twice before ‘hiding’ in my aunties room to get some quiet and have my makeup applied in peace! In hindsight I would have been much stricter on visitors and planned in advance where everyone else would be having their hair and makeup done too.

One thing I did do was eat a big breakfast. It really set me up for the day, especially as I was so pent up with excitement and nerves that I barely ate our wedding meal and dessert. I’m glad I managed to fuel up in the morning and highly recommend other brides try to do the same :)

Rachael & Sam

Image credit © John Hope

Plan for rain

Let’s face it, we live in the UK and sadly that means it’s raining more than the sun’s shining. If you plan for rain, then you can be pleasantly surprised when the sun comes out to play. Look at different places to have your photographs for different weather – we were all set to have our pictures taken inside a really cool bar and art museum close to our venue if the weather decided to play up. I also thought about giant heart shaped umbrellas in different colours. The weather is the one part of your day you can’t control, so get excited about your back up plans too!

And if it rains… well, just go with it! You can get some amazing shots in the rain… the stormier the better! :)

Fingers crossed you’re not too stressed about your wedding day – I hope this post has been helpful! If you’ve got any specific questions drop them in the comments and I and the other Cwtch brides will do our best to answer them for you :)

Lots of cwtches!

Hannah x